News and events

Informative session with Mr. Lakshman Abeysekera, Chairman and Dr. Susantha Siriwardena, Director of Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka.

A progressive initiative to mitigate the problem of the Circular Spot Leaf disease was organised by the Colombo Rubber Traders’ Association in the form of an Informative session held on May 15, 2023, at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The discussion encompassed various ongoing procedures, including updates on PESTA, research and development of high-yielding clones, analytical services, and the support provided to the rubber plantation sector in Sri Lanka.

Grave Threat to Sri Lanka’s Natural Rubber Industry

Under increasing threat of the rapid progression of the Circular Spot Leaf disease affecting rubber plantations across the country, the Colombo Rubber Traders’ Association conducted a webinar with a view to educating stakeholders on managing the disease.


This was the third in a series of webinars organized in an endeavour to control this disease, which first emerged in 2019 and affected 10,000 Ha of rubber plantations, and increased twofold in extent in each of the successive two years to spread over 20,000 Ha in 2020 and 40,000 Ha in 2021.


The webinar was presented by Dr. Sarojini Fernando, Head – Plant Pathology and Microbiology Department of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka (RRISL), who briefed participants on the latest reports and the ground level situation regarding the disease.

Session panelists comprised Dr. Mrs. Priyani Senevirathne, Deputy Director Research (Biology) – RRISL, Dr. L.M.K Thilakarathne – a former Director of RRISL and Mr. Udara Premathilake, Director Plantations (Rubber) – Kelani Valley Plantations PLC. The webinar was moderated by Mr. Manoj Udugampola, Chairman – Colombo Rubber Traders’ Association and Chief Operation Officer – Rubber, Pussellawa Plantations Ltd. Over 100 participants representing all industry stakeholder groups attended the webinar.


Due to the grave consequences the continued spread of the disease could pose to the Natural Rubber industry in the country, the Ministry of Plantation Industries established a task force to address the situation with urgency. Officials of the Ministry of Plantations, RRISL and the Rubber Development Department revealed that their organizations were collaborating with Rubber smallholders and corporate sector plantation companies to manage the disease and minimize economic losses. It was also noted that while Cabinet approval was granted to import the required chemicals, which were under the ‘restricted imports’ category, the appreciation of the US Dollar against the rupee rendered the prices of these chemicals prohibitively expensive.

Session on Navigating Through Adversity

On December 19th, the Colombo Rubber Traders' Association (CRTA) organized a session titled " Navigating Through Adversity." The purpose of this session was to provide valuable insights and strategies for overcoming challenges in the industry.


The session featured a presentation by Ms. Aruni Gunathilake, the Chairperson of Hatton National Bank. Ms. Gunathilake, with her vast experience and expertise in the banking sector, shared her profound knowledge on effectively navigating through difficult times. Her presentation shed light on various aspects such as financial resilience, strategic decision-making, and adaptability in the face of adversity.


The session was attended by members of the CRTA and other industry professionals. It served as an invaluable opportunity for participants to gain inspiration, practical advice, and a fresh perspective on overcoming obstacles in their businesses. The engaging and insightful presentation by Ms. Aruni Gunathilake left a lasting impact on the attendees, equipping them with the tools and motivation to face adversity head-on and thrive in the challenging market conditions.

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103rd Annual General Meeting

The 103rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Colombo Rubber Traders' Association (CRTA) took place on Friday, October 14, 2022, at the Marino Beach Hotel. The presence of distinguished guests and industry leaders contributed to its significance.


The AGM was graced by the+ Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, the Minister of Plantation Industries, as the Chief Guest. Dr. Pathirana's participation in the event highlighted the government's support and recognition of the rubber industry's importance in the country's economy. His presence also demonstrated the commitment of the Ministry of Plantation Industries to collaborate with associations such as the CRTA to address the challenges and promote the growth of the sector.


Additionally, the AGM was attended by Mr. W.T. Ellawala as the Guest of Honour. Mr. Ellawala's notable achievements and contributions to the rubber trading community made him an appropriate choice for this distinguished position. As a respected figure within the industry, his presence brought a wealth of experience and insights to the discussions.


The AGM provided an opportune platform for members of the CRTA to address key issues, share industry updates, and collectively work towards the advancement of the sector, enhanced through the presence of Hon. Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and Mr. W. T. Ellawala.